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Are we living in the future? The climate extremes of recent and future Southeast Alaska droughts and floods

January 26, 2021 @ 10:00 am to 11:00 am AKST

Rick Thoman, Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
Rick Lader, International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
Jeremy Littell, Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center (USGS)

A truck drives through an open lane after a mudslide on Monday, December 11, 2017, in Juneau, Alaska. The slide happened near the intersection of Mill Street and Thane Road south of downtown Juneau. (Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

In the last couple years, SE Alaska has experienced historically unprecedented drought and now historically extreme rainfall. These events have challenged management of regional infrastructure, affected local and regional ecosystems, and more importantly, real consequences for people living and working in the region. Are they just natural variability, chance one-time weirdness, or harbingers of what is to come? Putting these recent events in context of our historical experience helps us understand droughts and deluges now and make sense of just how uncommon they really are in the past. Using the best climate science available, we can also ask how likely these kinds of events may be in the future given what we know about climate change and its impacts on extremes. And we can try to make sense of the risks involved and what the science suggests we can do about adapting to the future before it gets here. Join Rick Thoman, Rick Lader, and Jeremy Littell for a webinar about the past, present and future of precipitation extremes in southeast Alaska.

Links shared during presentation

Climate Projects for SE Alaska
Dynamically downscaled climate data for Southeast Alaska